Splendid Cycles

PBOT officially opens the nine-mile, $4.5 million, 20s Bikeway

Posted by on August 24th, 2017 at 11:07 am

28th-Powell bike signal.jpg

One of the centerpieces of the new 20s Bikeway is this updated crossing of SE Powell Blvd at 28th that includes median islands and a bike-only traffic signal.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Four years after planning work got underway and seven years after it was funded, the City of Portland will officially open the 20s Bikeway today.

“The 20s Bikeway provides a seamless, low-stress cycling path… that serves a broad range of cyclists.”

At an event slated for 11:00 am, City Commissioner Dan Saltzman and Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat will join neighborhood advocates to mark the (near) completion of the project, which they refer to as a, “world class route for biking and walking.”

The 20s Bikeway is a new connection in our network that spans over nine miles north-to-south between the Springwater Corridor at its southern end and NE Lombard in the north (view map PDF here). With a budget of around $4.5 million (funded by a Metro/ODOT grant and transportation system development charges), the bikeway is a mix of striped bike lanes (some protected, some not), neighborhood greenway treatments, and updated crossings of major streets.

Here’s more about the new route from PBOT:

The importance of this route starts with its north-south orientation. Most of the bicycle network is currently oriented in an east-west direction, where it can use a dense and continuous network of local streets. Portland’s north-south street network is more difficult to traverse on bike: the streets are often interrupted by dead ends and dogleg routes, there are major barriers with few places to cross, such Interstate 84, and because there are more busy arterial streets to cross. The 20s Bikeway provides a seamless, low-stress cycling path through these obstacles that serves a broad range of cyclists.

The new route connects to a large number of neighborhoods and destinations. More than 35,000 residents, including 5,500 school-aged children, live within a quarter mile of the route. It travels through 13 neighborhoods and six commercial districts, and provides access to 14 parks and 12 schools. Along the way, it intersects with 14 existing east-west bikeways and six more that are planned.

To make the route an enjoyable bicycling experience for people of all ages and abilities, the project used a broad range of roadway improvements to ensure safety and convenience for the public. It improved 17 crossings of busy arterial streets, with benefits for people walking and biking. More than two-thirds of the route uses low-traffic volume and low-traffic speed residential streets that have been calmed to the latest Portland standards for neighborhood greenways. The other third of the route uses neighborhood collector streets that have been upgraded with bike lanes, most with buffered bike lanes and several segments with protected bike lanes.

The City has also released these before-and-after images of key crossings:

Images: PBOT

I’ve ridden the new route several times in the past month or so. Given the dearth of north-south bike connections, it’s really nice to have a route I can rely on. The presence of sharrows and signage alone means I can just follow the breadcrumbs without having to think much. And the updated crossings are crucial. With a mix of bike-only signals, beg buttons, cross-bikes, median islands, and flashing beacons — the risk and stress has gone way down.

Overall, the design isn’t what I’d refer to as “world-class”. The route zig-zags far too often. This was done to get to safer/easier crossings of major streets. One consequence is that if you’re not paying attention to the signage and sharrows you’ll end up at the crossing of a busy street off the route — and without any safety improvements. The biggest annoyance is how the route avoids the 28th Avenue commercial district. As many of you recall, this was a huge debate between activists who wanted the route to be on 28th and PBOT who was unwilling to stand up to some of the business owners who value on-street auto parking more than safe access for bicycle riders.

Here’s what it looks like headed southbound just before the commercial district begins:

20s bikeway-1.jpg

Many people thought the route should never have left 28th to begin with.

20s bikeway-11.jpg

Looking south on 28th where the route goes around the commercial district.

One of the bright spots is the new crossing of SE Powell at 28th. Very few people typically use 28th in this location, instead opting for the narrow — and infamously dangerous — bike lane on 26th. This new crossing was part of a grand bargain between ODOT and PBOT. As we reported, ODOT said they’d only approve PBOT’s permit for a new signalized crossing at 28th if the City promised to remove the existing bike lane on 26th. PBOT sources have told us that was a bad deal and they are reluctant to remove the bike lane on 26th. The current compromise is that PBOT will monitor traffic on both streets through the end of this year and share the findings with ODOT. “Remedies could include the removal of the bike lane on 26th,” PBOT shared with BikePortland on July 7th, “if it is determined that bike lane usage on 26th has significantly decreased.”

Here’s a video of the crossing headed southbound:


Today’s press conference takes place at the intersection of Burnside and 30th. This is another location where PBOT has designed a new crossing to help people manage the off-set intersection. The updates consist of a bike-only signal, green cross-bike striping, and a 2-way cycletrack on the south side of Burnside. It’s a little awkward getting onto the cycletrack in the northbound direction. But once you get oriented, this is a nice improvement that provides a huge safety benefit for bicycle users.

20s bikeway-9.jpg

Northbound entry to 2-way cycletrack on south side of Burnside at 30th.

Another interesting section is the design of 30th and Stark. Headed northbound one block before Stark, riders are directed onto a 2-way protected (with green paint and plastic wands) bike lane on the west side of 30th. There’s a new bike-only signal phase at Stark that runs on a sensor. It’s unconventional to have two directions of bicycle traffic on one side of the street — so it’s a bit unsettling when people in cars turn southbound from Stark as you sit in the road waiting for the light.

See photos of this section and others below…

20s bikeway-6.jpg

Headed northbound on new 2-way bikeway on 26th just south of Stark.
20s bikeway-8.jpg

Waiting for the light at Stark (this photo is a month old and the new signal has since been activated.

bike beg button.jpg

I’m not a huge fan of beg buttons because they force you to leave the roadway and position yourself in the gutter, which isn’t the safest place to be.

20s bikeway-13.jpg

At the 28th Avenue overcrossing of I-84 PBOT encourages 20s Bikeway users to cross over to a 2-way protected bike lane on the west side of the overpass.

20s bikeway-2.jpg

The 2-way protected bikeway on 28th over I-84.

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Looking north at the 28th Avenue overpass of I-84.

20s bikeway-16.jpg

Standard neighborhood greenway treatment at NE 26th and Knott.

20s bikeway-10.jpg

Buffered bike lane on 28th approaching Sandy.

I’ll be using this new bikeway a lot. Have you ridden it yet? How does it feel to you?

You can take a closer look at all the changes and get questions answered from PBOT on their 20s Bikeway Ride on Tuesday (8/29).

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Esther August 24, 2017 at 11:14 am

    I rode the central section from Stark to Fred Meyer. Pretty good though as with most crossings on bikeways, I have problems reaching the hawk signal buttons with my cargo bike (hard to pull up next to the button without sticking out into the street), such as at Burnside. The island on Glisan is a little narrow for my cargo bike. I far would have preferred an alignment on 28th Ave through that central section. I didn’t take the two way bike line over the Banfield but was nervous that I would not have been able to turn onto Wasco on my cargo bike because of the bollards – which I hear are getting removed.

    The city will be hosting a bike ride along the 20s bikeway next Tuesday at 6pm starting at Grant Park ! https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/44298#augride

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 24, 2017 at 11:19 am

      Thanks for sharing this Esther. I didn’t mention anything about those bollards at Wasco but I’m very glad to hear they will be removed. The current striping directs riders directly into them! I can only imagine what it’s like on a large cargo bike.

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    • Esther August 24, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      I read your story more thoroughly and would also like to say that northbound on 30th I wasn’t paying attention and ended up at 30th and Sandy instead of turning down wherever it was I was supposed to turn down to 28th.

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  • julia August 24, 2017 at 11:20 am

    I’m happy for all this. On a sidenote, has anyone else experienced those bike only signals making cars mad because they think you’re running the red?

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    • 9watts August 24, 2017 at 11:55 am

      not to mention making the people in the cars mad….

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    • Spiffy August 24, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      so many things make motorists angry that I don’t usually care why anymore… just going a half mile to the store I see multiple drivers angry at other drivers because those other drivers are obeying the law and causing a slight delay…

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  • Adam
    Adam August 24, 2017 at 11:24 am

    The 20’s Bikeway is a cruel joke being played on cyclists. It takes quite possibly the hilliest route possible, it’s full of cars, lacks diversion, the half-block protected portions direct you into parked cars, drivers ignore the HAWK signals, the crossing of the highway is a dangerous, confusing mess, the route is indirect and manages to avoid basically every business district cyclists might want to visit, etc. Does anyone at PBOT actually believe that this is an improvement for cyclists?

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    • Adam
      Adam August 24, 2017 at 11:28 am

      Oh and I forgot the best part. The path crossing I-84 heading north directs you directly into this concrete pole.

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      • Allan Rudwick August 24, 2017 at 12:25 pm

        That pole/sidewalk crossing is my least fav. part of this route. Ugh ugh. Why hasn’t this been fixed

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      • Alan 1.0 August 24, 2017 at 1:01 pm

        So, did you actually crash, or have you not actually followed the route? Or, just an outside possibility, could your description be the tiniest bit hyperbolic?

        (Yeah, it does look like a pretty dumb design.)

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        • Adam
          Adam August 24, 2017 at 1:09 pm

          I did not crash but I had to come to a full stop to avoid the concrete post. The turning radius of the bike lane into the sidewalk is too tight as it is, and having to avoid the post makes it near impossible to get though without coming to a complete stop first. And yes, I have ridden the entire route north of Clinton Street. Haven’t tried south yet.

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          • Alan 1.0 August 24, 2017 at 1:35 pm

            It’s an ugly little situation. The bollards need to go. Maybe replace them with a “no entry” sort of railing out at the curb line where the old curb cut is, diverting bikes to either the new curb cut at the zebra crossing or south towards the next driveway cut before the overpass?

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            • Adam
              Adam August 24, 2017 at 1:40 pm

              Agreed. Ditch the bollards, widen the curb cut and sidewalk there to properly accommodate cyclists and peds. It’s clear that spot was exclusively designed for people walking and that PBOT saw it and thought it was “good enough” for cyclists. “Bikes on Sidewalk” design (or BS for short) isn’t good enough.

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      • soren August 29, 2017 at 8:39 pm

        Rich Newlands — the PBOT planner for this project — assured me that the bollards will be removed.

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    • Todd Hudson August 24, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      The usual negativity. You should try being positive instead of Debbie Downer.

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      • Adam
        Adam August 24, 2017 at 12:40 pm

        Okay, I’ll bite. I like the raised cycletrack on Burnside. It just needs to be 100 times longer and also on the other side of the street. 😉

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      • jeff August 24, 2017 at 12:57 pm

        he doesn’t know how. complaining about hills, while living in a VALLEY, is pretty funny to me though. He’s comedic gold!

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        • Adam
          Adam August 24, 2017 at 1:02 pm

          There is obviously no way to avoid all hills in Portland, but there are certainly routes that are flatter than others. Ironically the flatter routes usually are the ones with the most cars.

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          • Brian August 24, 2017 at 5:05 pm

            I wonder for how many people hills are actually an issue. I enjoy a change now and again as opposed to just riding flat streets, and for every climb is a chance for some fun. The lack of efficiency in a chosen route can definitely be frustrating, though.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty August 25, 2017 at 1:08 pm

            SE 20th/21st is much flatter (and straighter!). PBOT is bumping up the auto classification of part of that route in the new TSP. It will be that much harder to implement bike improvements there in the future.

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          • matt picio August 26, 2017 at 3:32 pm

            I’ll be a lot more tolerant of Portland’s “hills” next time I’m biking in town after having lived in Seattle for a year. Portland’s only real hills are west of the river. I kind of miss that.

            As also mentioned, there are a lot of good hill-avoidant routes on the east side of the river. Honestly, someone should make a map for flatlander fans.

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        • Alex Reedin August 24, 2017 at 1:12 pm

          Yeah, it’s called a valley rather than a plain because it is bordered by hills/slopes/gradients/etc.

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      • Alex Reedin August 24, 2017 at 1:10 pm

        Variations on Todd Hudson’s theme – all about as good advice:
        Hey sweetheart, you’d be so much more fetching if you just smiled more.
        God never gives you more than you can handle.
        If you compare yourself to a starving orphan in a third-world country, you’ll always be happy!
        You know that you just fulfill the stereotype of the angry bicyclist/feminist/black person/lesbian right?

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    • Adam
      Adam August 24, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      Also, I think the way PBOT does those cross-bike stripings are the most useless things ever. They never line up with the place you’d actually be riding, and if you were to actually ride in them, you’d be routed directly into the sidewalk or a parked car. PBOT never seems to use the cross-bikes in a manner where it actually makes sense, such as connecting a bike lane though an intersection or by lining them up with the sharrows on greenways.

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      • BikerPDX August 24, 2017 at 2:09 pm

        I dunno, I use one every single day on my commute home riding north on N. Williams when I cross Rosa Parks. It’s not a cure-all, but I find more cars stop at the intersection to let me cross than before it was painted. If I were feeling concerned about wanting a higher level of protection, I could ride one block west to cross Rosa at Vancouver (two-way this far north), but it seems to work for me.

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        • Adam
          Adam August 24, 2017 at 2:23 pm

          I am not familiar with that intersection. Most of the time the striping forces you to swerve to the right to be within the markings. Is this the case at Williams and Rosa Parks?

          To reiterate, I don’t find cross-bike striping in general to be useless, only the way PBOT uses it most of the time. I’m talking something like this where the stripes don’t even line up with the sharrows, and direct you toward the parking lane or sidewalk. In that photo, if you were to follow the markings and there was a car parked there, you’d smack directly into the back of the car. Not saying anyone would actually do this, but most people are likely going to see the markings leading them into a parked car and think “well, that makes no sense” and not bother to use the striping. And if PBOT is designing infra that most people won’t bother to use, then what’s the point?

          If PBOT painted them where you’d actually be riding (closer to the middle of the lane, outside the door zone) then they could work quite well. And they should be used at every single intersection with a bike lane. Nothing is worse than having a bike lane disappear at every cross-street.

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        • mh August 24, 2017 at 10:09 pm

          Does “more” mean a 10% success rate rather than 5%? I had one driver stop for me at the crossbike on my commute on Taylor at 20th when it was brand new. I suspect they thought the marking might mean something. That was a while ago, and I don’t recall if I was actually aligned with it. I normally cross it twice a day, sometimes in the center of the lane where I usually ride, sometimes barely within the striping. It is in the wrong place, and I’m still relying on the kindness of strangers. I don’t see much behavior change, but why should I? There has been no education, so the interpretation would have to be “these should warn you that there might be someone using them for something.”

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    • J.E. August 24, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      I would also like to emphasize the problem with hills.

      Again and again we ask ourselves, “bicycle mode share has stagnated; how do we get more people on bikes?” The answer: stop building infrastructure for people who are able-bodied, riding light bikes with many gears, and willing to get sweaty, and start building them for your standard sedentary American, riding a Biketown, dressed in business casual wear, cycling to a lunch meeting. Or a 70-year-old grandmother, hauling her two grandchildren in a trailer. Or a 10-year-old girl who “doesn’t like sports.”

      True story: when we were kids, I accidentally turned my younger sister off to cycling by taking her on what I thought was a “fun ride” (her preferred description: “death march”) around a hilly neighborhood. She had a horrible time, it was one of the reasons she stopped cycling as a kid, and now as an adult says it’s been too many years and is too nervous to give it another try.

      The 20s bikeway is yet another Portland bicycle facility designed for the people who are already cycling, rather than for potential cyclists. And even then, I’m a current cyclist who lives close enough to the route to potentially use it on a semi-regular basis, but I don’t think I’ll take it that often because there are much flatter (and in the case of the Reed-Eastmoreland stretches: safer!) alternatives.

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      • Tom Hardy August 24, 2017 at 2:29 pm

        Yes J.E. Did about the same thing with my kids (now 39 and 41) on Capitol highway through Multmomah from Hillsdale to Taylors Ferry. The daughter nw rides a Harley and the son rides a Yamaha. I still ride my Mazi.

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        • B. Carfree August 26, 2017 at 6:51 pm

          I guess it works out differently for different families. I took my nine-year-old on my 120-mile round-trip commute with lots of hills (three watersheds to cross between). We spread it out over two days instead of my usual one day (but I cheat when by myself and cut it to 100 miles). He’s in his late twenties now and has chosen to not drive, ever. He gets everywhere by bike, bus, train or walking, with the very, very rare trip in a car as a passenger.

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      • Buzz August 24, 2017 at 2:38 pm

        I disagree, I’m a regular cyclist and find this route way less than useful. PBOT would have been better off just repaving all the streets this route follows and forgetting about all the other crap they ended up building. No regular cyclist wants to ride on the horrible pavement present on half or more of this route.

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    • Champs August 24, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      At least with respect to hills, I don’t think there’s an alignment that makes one better than another. PBOT can’t change eons of geological forces that routed drainage toward the Willamette. Humans will probably be extinct by the time Portland’s north/south axis gets much flatter.

      Gravity is a harsh mistress.

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      • J.E. August 24, 2017 at 12:53 pm

        The 20s takes you to the very top of several steep hills. Off the top of my head in inner SE: Woodward, Harrison, Salmon, Ankeny. A protected bike lane/greenway through that stretch on SE 21st/20th would still have been hilly, but would have bypassed the worst of those hills.

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        • Champs August 24, 2017 at 1:46 pm

          Those are multiple, significant detours from the current alignment—over half a mile each.

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          • J.E. August 24, 2017 at 4:21 pm

            So don’t align the route near 28th/30th; align it along 20th/21st instead (would make the “20s Bikeway” name make more sense, too)

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      • Adam
        Adam August 25, 2017 at 9:24 am

        I mean, you technically can. 😛

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    • mw August 24, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      but it cost $4.5M!

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  • Paul Atkinson August 24, 2017 at 11:27 am

    This is pretty good work, on the whole, and I’ll be using parts of this route regularly.

    Is this a big improvement full of welcome changes? Sure.

    Is this a “world class route for biking and walking?” I mean…has the person who wrote that ever been outside Portland? Ever? Have they seen the best the world has to offer, then come back and looked at this and said “yep…same?” Because it’s not, is it?

    Serpentine path designed to defer to auto traffic?
    Meaningless “cross-bikes” that have no legal standing, confusing users of all modes?
    Beg buttons?
    Zero protection from drivers for most of the route?
    Switching from right-side to left-side and back to right-side?
    Percentage of protected intersections is…?

    Honestly, I’m not trying to trash on the work that went into this, but keep your self-praise a little more grounded PBOT. It’s nice, and it’s better than what a lot of cities in the USA have, but if you think this is the pinnacle of safe cycling design then we need to talk.

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    • 9watts August 24, 2017 at 11:56 am

      “The route zig-zags far too often.”


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      • Stephan August 24, 2017 at 3:16 pm

        I could not have said it better. PBOT, please stop mis-labelling this as world class. It is an improvement but building a world class bicycle infrastructure starts with figuring out what works best for bike riders, and then constructing cars around that.

        We can talk here and elsewhere as much as we want about possible improvements; this is all ineffective until PBOT does not stand behind such a change in paradigm.

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    • Josh G August 25, 2017 at 2:45 pm
  • Paul Atkinson August 24, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Aside: I used to really enjoy going to that stretch of businesses on 28th (basically the whole stretch from Crema on the south end to Pambiche on the north).

    Since they voted to tell me cyclists aren’t welcome there I have not been back. Not once. Shame, too…there are some places I liked along that stretch, but I’m not one to show up where I’m not wanted.

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    • Adam
      Adam August 24, 2017 at 11:45 am

      Conversely, I frequent the businesses at 26th and Clinton far more often than I go to Division or Hawthorne, simply because it’s on a bike route and on my way home.

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      • Paul Atkinson August 24, 2017 at 11:55 am

        Same – Clinton is a gold mine. I ride Williams a lot these days too, and that led me to discover Game Knight, which is a wonderfully fun place. Lots of great spots just up the road, too (HUB, 5th Quad, that whole stretch).

        Gladstone has a bunch of places I like to stop.

        No businesses to speak of on Going bikeway. None on Klikkitat either, and precious little on or near Ankeny. It’s almost as if PBOT wants to keep bicycle facilities away from where the commerce is.

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      • Adam
        Adam August 24, 2017 at 12:01 pm

        It’s almost as if PBOT wants to keep bicycle facilities away from where the commerce is.

        This is 100% true. It’s obvious that PBOT still sees cycling as a fringe activity. Considering that they avoid removing parking in business districts for cycling infra and that they remove a highly popular cycling route as soon as the weather turns sour and the tourists leave; one can only conclude that PBOT simply does not take transportation cycling at all seriously. People on bikes shop and eat too!

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        • 9watts August 24, 2017 at 12:07 pm

          “It’s obvious that PBOT still sees cycling as a fringe activity.”

          I don’t think that is fair. I was as loud a critic of PBOT’s caving to the car parking anxietists on NE 28th Ave as the next guy, but I don’t think obeisance to them is the same thing as treating biking as a fringe activity. It instead reflects a calculus of which interest group can make more trouble for PBOT. I know that many within PBOT genuinely believe in biking, in making biking happen, flourish, etc., but the triage which too often defers to the combustive modes interferes with these impulses.

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          • Adam
            Adam August 24, 2017 at 12:14 pm

            When PBOT continues to throw cyclists the proverbial bone by designing low-quality cycling infra while maintaining that parking is needed for car access, refusing to build any cycling infra in business districts, etc. it builds a picture that PBOT simply does not take our needs seriously, nor do they care to do anything to make a dent in driving mode share. Sure, they say all the right things, and there are genuinely good people at PBOT fighting for what they believe in; however when they continue to churn out shoddy infra for cyclists while telling us that this is in fact what we want, or that this was the “best they could do”, something is broken in the Bureau.

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          • Bill August 24, 2017 at 1:03 pm

            I will say that the new speed bumps that were put in on 28th in the business district at the same time as this project have made it a lot more comfortable to cycle on that roadway. I don’t think I’ve been passed by a car since they’ve gone in.

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            • Paul Atkinson August 24, 2017 at 3:46 pm

              Neither have I, but when I ride that section of 28th these days I make sure to take the lane. Passing there would be ridiculously dangerous and I won’t encourage it by hanging out in the door zone. I’m not sure the speed bumps have made much impact for me, but of course not everyone rides like that.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty August 25, 2017 at 1:15 pm

              I prefer slow traffic speeds and mixed bike/car traffic to bike lanes with higher auto speeds. I like what they did on SE 28th, and think it was a big improvement. I wish they had routed the main bike route through here, but whatever. It’s still part of *my* main bike route!

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        • JeffS August 26, 2017 at 11:40 am

          No, it’s that the entire town is willing to elevate on-street parking above every other concern.

          I find it particularly odd that the bicycle and ped advocates are right there amongst them.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty August 26, 2017 at 12:32 pm

            I think the street works better for everyone (especially cyclists and pedestrians) with speed bumps and parking than it would if parking were removed and bike lanes installed. I do not elevate on-street parking above every other concern; in this case it is compatible with my concerns.

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  • Craig Giffen August 24, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Oh nice, you mean they actually route you to intersections where the lights actually work? Cool.

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    • Adam
      Adam August 24, 2017 at 11:47 am

      Except the three new HAWK signals are not designed for cyclists. You have to ride up to the curb to activate the button, which is never where one would actually be riding. At the signal at Broadway, I actually moved over to press the button and the driver took that opportunity to zoom in front of me, cutting me off, and run the light.

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  • SilkySlim August 24, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Pretty psyched about the Powell crossing, especially the smooth sailing in the blocks just north of it.

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    • Ben August 24, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      “Smooth” but for the stop sign at the bottom of the hill at the corner of the high school and terrible rutted pavement another block north.

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      • SilkySlim August 24, 2017 at 1:30 pm

        I stand by it being better than my previous route of 34th (again, from Powell to Clinton/Division), which has a bigger hill, more stop signs, worse road surface, and one of those “uncontrolled” intersections.

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    • J_R August 24, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      Yeah. And the pavement in the block south of Powell is really torn up due to new water and sewer lines to the new houses in that block.

      The response of the bike/ped signal to cross Powell is fairly good, at least in off-peak periods.

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  • David August 24, 2017 at 11:42 am

    I’ve been using the crossing at 30th and Burnside (southbound) about half of the time as it’s a solid way to get to Ankeny from Glisan.

    As Adam alludes to the design could have been improved in a number of ways as I’ll detail:
    PBOT removed a parking spot on 30th immediately North of Burnside (on the west side of the road) to provide access to the beg button on 30th and Burnside yet it’s occupied half the time making it difficult (impossible) to activate the light (I had to ask someone yesterday to press it for me).
    Once the button is pressed there is no visual indicator anywhere that the light will be changing which is frustrating when you’re sitting there for over a minute.
    It should not take a minute, or longer, for the light to change after being pressed, it really encourages peds/cyclists to cross Burnside without that protection.
    No parking spots were removed on the North side of Burnside which makes visibility pretty poor if you’re trying to make sure there’s no oncoming traffic with or without the light.
    When you get to Ankeny, no parking spots were removed making for poor visibility on a stretch where cars and bikes are routinely going fast because it’s the bottom of a hill.

    Overall I can see where they are proud of the improvements and the design on this stretch really does discourage cars, however based on this stretch of road calling it “world class” is an insult to so many other cities, and frankly to other routes in this city.

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    • Adam
      Adam August 24, 2017 at 11:51 am

      I agree, and as with nearly every other greenway that PBOT builds, I have anecdotally noticed an uptick in driver volume and aggression on the route. The bikeway passes though some of the densest neighborhoods on the east side – there’s really zero excuse for the complete lack of diversion.

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  • Terry D-M August 24, 2017 at 11:44 am

    I guess I have been too critical of this project to be invited as I did not receive notification of this “Grand Opening”. Even though as Co-Chair of Se Uplift i am supposed to try to represent the population served by entire route south of Sullivan’s Gulch.

    After the reporter called me yesterday I should have asked him when the grand opening was. I would have gone, but I guess the city does not think our coalition was important enough. It was on my list of things to do today to detirmine when this opening was so I could represent my coalition

    This tells me a lot about what Pbot thinks of safety advocates. They are so afraid of criticism that even after at least a half dozen meetings I have been to with city officials about this project we were not important enough to be invited.

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    • Adam
      Adam August 24, 2017 at 11:54 am

      Terry, the city only does these “Grand Openings” for the photo ops and positive press. Inviting vocal critics to these events would shed light on the fact that Portland is not as bike-friently as it presents itself to be; and be embarrassing for city officials that are supposed to be representing the interests of the public, rather than maintaining a false image of Portland to the rest of the country. The Portland Marketing Machine must live on!

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      • Terry D-M August 24, 2017 at 12:08 pm

        Oh I know, I e-mailed Leah Treat and explained that this is one reason why the public does not trust PBOT.

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    • 9watts August 24, 2017 at 11:57 am


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    • David August 24, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      This seems like a missed opportunity. While the Neighborhood Association/Coalition structure can be a thorn in the side of many a city department, they can also provide some of the best support for projects that have a large impact on the community. Excluding SE Uplift would seem to be either a petty move or a communication breakdown, I’m hoping it’s the latter.

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  • dwk August 24, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    **Comment deleted**

    Hi dwk,

    If you don’t like that part of the route, why not make some suggestions on how it could be improved instead of using those mean words to describe it. Thanks.

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    • dwk August 24, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      Since about 10 others have commented about the 28th crossing I thought it was obvious.
      Pointing out that whoever designed this must know nothing about cycling is too “mean” for you I guess.

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      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 24, 2017 at 12:35 pm

        no. What’s too mean to me dwk is that you used the words “stupid” and “dumb”. I have no tolerance for that type of language in that context. Please be considerate with your comments or I’ll just delete all of them. Thank you.

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  • MaxD August 24, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    This is a pretty sad excuse for a route north! All those zigs and zags and crossing the street to ride in a miserable 2-way bike lane that forces to cross back across the street a few blocks late- this introduces so much risk for people riding bikes and create so much delay! The worst apart of the 2-way cycle track is that they position bikes going the wrong way in the gutter of a 2-way street. Ugh. While looking at the map, I noticed that it may have a street mislabeled: 26th at Ankeny Burnside should, I think, be 28th.
    Despite PBOT wanting people on bikes to divert to either 26 or 30th and use an provide a green light on a timer. I have ridden 28th many times, and I think the speed bumps help keep motor vehicle speeds down. However they built the speed bumps with a narrow groove that seems super dangerous. I have hit the steep side of the groove unexpectedly and it throws your balance off, and it it is narrow/deep enough that if you ride through it on a bike with a low bottom bracket, you risk a pedal strike. Any idea why they added these?

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    • Adam
      Adam August 24, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      Those speed bumps are supposed to be the “bike-friendly” ones. You’re supposed to somehow fit your wheels in that groove to avoid the bump. It really is quite terrible though – trying to align your wheels with the cutout feels extremely dangerous.

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      • David August 24, 2017 at 12:22 pm

        These were very poorly executed speed bumps. I tried once to ride in the groove and it was painful. Really wish there was better (any) quality control on completed work. Done right this would have been a nice little benefit.

        On a related note, to avoid another comment, I have also deliberately avoided business on this stretch due to their role in the bikeway routing – this behavior by businesses should not be encouraged.

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        • Adam
          Adam August 24, 2017 at 12:30 pm

          I actually was not even aware there were any businesses on this stretch until I rode by on a Pedalpalooza ride this year, because the street does not feel safe for cycling. For people who only get around by bike or bus, creating new routes can literally create new customers for businesses.

          Actively opposing bike infra is a good enough reason for me to not visit a business, but in this case, not having bike infra on the street surely is a factor for others.

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        • Chris I August 24, 2017 at 12:58 pm

          This. We used to frequent the Gelato place, but now will take our business elsewhere. They care more about preserving street parking for their owners and workers than they do about the safety of their customers who ride bikes.

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      • mran1984 August 24, 2017 at 2:48 pm

        This is really funny. Sorry that cycling requires effort and skill. What’s dangerous is riding with folks on orange bikes taking pictures. Yep, they do not even look where they are going. Hills are wonderful! More hills please…even on a sspd.

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        • Adam
          Adam August 25, 2017 at 9:28 am

          If you’re afraid of people riding upright bikes, taking pictures, texting, drinking coffee, etc. I hope for your sake that you never visit the Netherlands. 😛

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  • Niall M August 24, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    I like the crossing at Hawthorne & 29th, it will save some pedestrian lives. Not a fan of the 2 way bike lane at the Stark crossing, cars will ignore the ‘no right on red’ and hit some-one.
    I’ll still be riding on 28th.

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    • Tom Hardy August 24, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      Myself! I will stick to 20th as a safer route north of Hawthorne in spite of the normalicy of simple minded motorists, or because of them. 26th south of Hawthorne to Woodstock.
      zigzags and 2 way BP’s alternating is too dangerous. I will just let the adrenalin power me through in the traffic lane.

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  • William Henderson August 24, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    I’m surprised they are calling this done. South of Holgate it is still a narrow, door-zone, debris filled bike lane. My understanding is there will be buffered (but not protected) lanes at some point.

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    • Ben August 24, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      Probably right about they time they build the protected turn lanes at Holgate and 41st that were supposed to be finished by the end of June.

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    • Terry D-M August 24, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      There is a grind down and repave happening in the bear term. If they wait until 2018 the comp plan transportation hierarchy allows PBOT to prioritize buffered bike lanes over parking. Currently, as we found out on 28 th, there is no way to force the issue by code.

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      • Terry D-M August 24, 2017 at 4:24 pm

        *near term…..I must have bears on the brain.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty August 25, 2017 at 1:21 pm

          Who doesn’t?

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      • William Henderson August 28, 2017 at 9:36 am

        Thanks, Terry! Good to know about the 2018 change. Perhaps by then the city will also have figured out a way to provide protected facilities.

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  • rick August 24, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    What is with the lack of a 20 mph school zone for the giant, nearby public high school? Jesuit has a 20 mph school zone during certain hours on school days on a 4 car lane ODOT boulevard for BH Highway.

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    • Another Engineer August 24, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      Legislation will soon allow PBOT to have more control over speed zones in the Portland area. A 20 mph zone currently requires signed orders from ODOT staff, PBOT is wise to be expending its efforts elsewhere until Jan 1. 2018.


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      • Tom Hardy August 24, 2017 at 2:51 pm

        This will be good for Powell between 20th and at least 52nd. it might divert the semi’s to I-84 to Gresham/Wood village.

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  • Toadslick August 24, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    I’m very thankful for a safer north-south route, but I also agree with many of the criticisms that Adam and Paul have shared.

    Were I to drive parallel to this same route, I would not have to worry about a zig-zagging path, beg buttons, or that the route would lead me away from business districts that are my likely destination. Bicycle routes need to be made at least that simple and straightforward if bicycle mode share is to increase relative to driving.

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  • Adam
    Adam August 24, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    The worst part of the entire route is the crossing on I-84. Why did PBOT install both a two-way protected lane as well as a conventional one-way lane on the other side? The entire thing was an awful compromise to maintain access to the Fred Meyer’s, yet PBOT could have just installed two one-way protected bike lanes on either side of the street, and avoided the terribly dangerous crossover heading northbound. Someone is going to get rear-ended on this block because if this design.

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    • mran1984 August 24, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      Two way bike lanes are awful. I do not want you heading towards me. I prefer the auto company anytime.

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      • Adam
        Adam August 24, 2017 at 2:57 pm

        Two-way cycle lanes are generally bad practice (protected or otherwise) except in very few exceptions, notably ones running along parks or areas without cars crossing the lane (As in Naito or SW Moody) or on off-street paths. In every case, however, Portland fails to make the lanes wide enough for comfort. Better would be to have two separate one-way protected cycle lanes on either side of the street. Traffic cross-sections should group by direction of travel, not by mode.

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      • MaxD August 24, 2017 at 4:00 pm

        They are particularly horrible to use on a bike at night in the rain (or, over half the year in Portland!) The headlight glare is blinding.

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        • Adam
          Adam August 24, 2017 at 4:06 pm

          Bike lights need to be manufactured the same as car headlights — with mirrors that focus the light onto the road, rather than just projecting a cone of light into peoples faces. All of my dynamo lights have this feature.

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          • mh August 24, 2017 at 10:24 pm

            German law, also meaning they don’t blink.

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  • bettie August 24, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    I really hate that green paint. It’s incredibly slippery in the rain. Who choses to use that? Can they do it without using slippery paint?

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    • Adam
      Adam August 24, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      They certainly can, but most of the time, choose not to. When the SW Moody lanes were fixed, PBOT added green thermoplastic that has been “roughed up” to make it more grippy. I found it to handle far better in the rain, yet PBOT still insists on the slippery thermoplastic for many projects.

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      • A different Adam August 24, 2017 at 1:13 pm

        My introduction to thermoplastic was seeing the guy in front of me have his wheels go out from underneath him in the rain and breaking a hip. I’ve tried to avoid it as much as I can since then.

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  • Justin M August 24, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Why is it that whenever the city makes an effort to make a huge upgrade to cycling infrastructure, there are so many people who come here and shit all over it? Maybe it isn’t perfect, but it’s a great improvement. Some of those redesigned intersections are fantastic. Maybe they’ll have to make some changes in time, but every additional mile of cycling infrastructure in this city makes cycling a more attractive option, increases its visibility and viability as safe transportation.

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    • 9watts August 24, 2017 at 12:39 pm

      opinions differ. some (many?) of the criticisms surfacing here were voiced at much earlier stages of the process. it can be very frustrating to see so much money (by bike infrastucture standards) and so many compromises that would never even be considered if the issue were making a route for cars….

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    • David August 24, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      In this case it’s partially a self-inflicted wound, PBOT called it world class. On the other hand I’m going to refer to hedonic adaptation.

      Over the years PBOT has done some things that are awesome and absolutely deserving of praise for bike infrastructure. Then they embark on projects and choose not to implement [insert treatment/route/somthing here] that people really like and are eventually disappointed (usually centered around safety/ease of use). On one hand we will never be “happy” however over time this is the kind of pressure that is really necessary to improve the quality of infrastructure for biking.

      Something like this is great because it represents investment in a safer north-south corridor. At the same time they managed not to use what this community would consider best practice due to avoiding commercial districts, flat terrain, in road/radar sensors (rather than beg buttons), and protected lanes in higher traffic areas. To raise the bar you can’t say “great job” and stop there, it needs to be made clear that more is expected. There are also some bad feelings due to some of these decisions being the result of organizations (thanks ODOT) and businesses that should be incentivized to encourage this type of project due to the proven benefits.

      In the end there is the reality that any future changes to this route are now decades away and these gaps are seen as a missed opportunity.

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      • Zach August 24, 2017 at 1:01 pm

        The silver lining? Since they avoided the commercial 28th district, it’s still fair game to install protected bike lanes there sooner once the businesses realize they’ll be a boon.

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        • Keviniano August 24, 2017 at 3:15 pm

          Yes! I for one will continue to take 28th from Stark to Sandy, taking the full lane wherever there’s no quality bike lane. My own little lobbying effort.

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      • MaxD August 24, 2017 at 4:04 pm

        Great summary of missed opportunities! I would add traffic signals to the list. Hawk signals are more expensive than a modern traffic signal, but I believe you can get a simple green-yellow-red traffic signal that is just triggered by a button or in-road sensor for about the same cost as a HAWK. The advantage is that the traditional looking signal is almost universally understood across North America and has remarkably good compliance rates.

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    • Adam
      Adam August 24, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      Remember that Better Naito would never have happened had a bunch of people not complained about cycling access to the waterfront during festival season.

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    • Niall M August 24, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      Volunteers get points for effort – city dollars that are out of my pocket I don’t ‘auto-applaud’ for effort. Do it right, some good pedestrian crosswalks though, I will give them that.

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    • wsbob August 24, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      “Why is it that whenever the city makes an effort to make a huge upgrade to cycling infrastructure, there are so many people who come here and shit all over it? Maybe it isn’t perfect, but it’s a great improvement. Some of those redesigned intersections are fantastic. Maybe they’ll have to make some changes in time, but every additional mile of cycling infrastructure in this city makes cycling a more attractive option, increases its visibility and viability as safe transportation.” justin m

      Hey, no kidding …good points made. 4.5 million bucks spent. Appears to be general consensus among people posting comments here so far, that overall, the project offers significant improvements over what the situation was before.

      Yet too many people commenting here, seem not to limit themselves simply to critiques of the project and constructive criticism and advice for improvement of its weaker points. Instead, they indulge in a apparent desire to insult and disrespect the people that worked long and hard hours achieving the accomplishment of this project within a limited budget available to get it done.

      All you mean and bitter, incessantly complaining critics: You’re going to help get more things done constructively if you try be a little less self indulgent and negative, and perhaps focus your thoughts instead on what could be done better, for improvement to this project, and with future projects on the table…and within budget. That last part, ‘…and within budget…”, is very important, because without the money, it isn’t gonna happen. Unless you’re resourceful in terms of raising additional money.

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    • mh August 24, 2017 at 10:27 pm

      They’re professionals, and we should forgive them for being amateurish?

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    • Dan A August 25, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      Because this:


      is not a reflection of this:


      …which is in Portland’s 2015 Climate Action Plan.

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  • Matt M August 24, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    When I lived on Ankeny I always used the stretch of 33rd/34th from Ankeny all the way to Gladstone. I’m not seeing what would make this new route more attractive than that. Is a painted-green bike lane statistically any safer than a quiet sharrow road like 34th?

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    • jeff August 24, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      what is “statistically safer” exactly?

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      • GlowBoy August 24, 2017 at 7:43 pm

        Statistics aren’t exact. That’s their nature.

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  • Buzz August 24, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    I give PBOT a C- for effort and an F for execution. This thing is a circuitous POS which goes up and down some of the steepest hills in inner SE Portland over frequently horrible pavement, and includes a bunch of new and different ‘experimental’ treatments and unnecessary speed bumps on already low-traffic streets. Who do they think will actually use this route? We deserve better than this!

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  • Kathy August 24, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    I don’t understand why ODOT is so bent on PBOT removing the bike lanes on SE 26th as a remedy “if it is determined that bike lane usage on 26th has significantly decreased.” I grew up in that neighborhood, long before a bike lane was there, and rode my bike on 26th all of the time, especially to get to Reed College or my friends’ houses in Eastmoreland or Sellwood. If I lived there today I would still use 26th, even with the improved crossing at 28th, because 28th would be out of my way. Does it cost that much for them to maintain it? Or is it a liability issue? That, if there are bike lanes, there is a presumption of safety that the City would be liable for?

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    • J_R August 24, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      ODOT thinks that the narrower auto lanes on 26th due to the retention of the bike lanes reduces the capacity of the intersection.

      Also, note that ODOT thinks the trees along the Cleveland High School frontage should be removed to improve visibility. I think this is really stupid since the traffic signals are fully visible to motorists. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen motorists on Powell, especially westbound, blow through the red signal. So, it’s not a lack of visibility that’s causing a problem, it’s a motorist “ignore the signal” problem. That could be fixed with a red light camera.

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  • jeff August 24, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    ah, yes, the typical complaining in BikePortland again.
    are some of you people ever happy? is the glass ever half full?

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    • 9watts August 24, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      “the typical complaining”

      complaining for its own sake is tiresome. But I think many of the comments here are specific, more specific than your comment, certainly. Do you have a specific read on this infrastructure, something to offer to counter the views already expressed which you find ‘typical’?

      Ideally we would all be constructive; balance our complaints with what we found good or even excellent, but this particular effort has struck me (and I’m certainly not speaking for anyone else) as inherently, predictably, frustratingly compromised (zig-zags being just the most obvious example). I hope there are people for whom the actual treatments more than make up for the annoyance represented by being constantly knocked off the main, easily remembered route by zig zags and business anxieties. I’d like to hear from them.

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    • Chris I August 24, 2017 at 3:35 pm

      jeff complaining about people on here complaining. Typical.

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  • B. Carfree August 24, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    If a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, then this thing is a failure, just read the previous comments to see the many links that would receive grades of F. If it’s an average, then I guess it gets some sort of D. World class? I rather think not. If this is what is celebrated by PBoT, then the future is bleak indeed.

    I think the problem stems from the big picture failure of PBoT. They see cycling as something that can and should be facilitated (read: made marginally safe) on only a tiny fraction of the grid and fail to see that any defect in such a sub-grid makes it fail completely. I think we should view motoring as something that has a small subset of the grid where it is viewed as dominant (like freeways) and the rest should be built to standards that allow for safe cycling throughout.

    A city bike map should simply be a map of the city with a few roads and intersections marked out as uninviting.

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    • Adam
      Adam August 24, 2017 at 1:14 pm

      I think we should view motoring as something that has a small subset of the grid where it is viewed as dominant (like freeways) and the rest should be built to standards that allow for safe cycling throughout.

      Agreed! If PBOT was really serious about cycling, they’d start carving out space used for cars only and make them safe for bikes. A good start would be to take all four-lane streets and convert them to two-lane with protected bike lanes.

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  • Andrew Kreps August 24, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    That pdf map is pretty lacking and a bit unclear- any word on when the Metro bike there map will be updated? I’ll see if I can get into google and update the bike direction engine one of these days.

    for reference: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/652321

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  • CaptainKarma August 24, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    The problem with a less than adequate bike thruway is that once its installed in a substandard, but close, locationn there will likely never again be an opportunity to make it right by say, putting it on 28th where it should be.

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    • Adam
      Adam August 24, 2017 at 1:31 pm

      Agreed – look at how much time and effort it took to get two diverters installed on Clinton, and that was 30 years after it was built! While the Clinton story is ultimately a success, I think it would be in everyone’s best interest to not have to repeat the process. If PBOT could just do the right thing in the first place, it would be so much easier.

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  • Mick O August 24, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    If only they had finished it before the Eclipse… I coulda seen it! Oh well. #soclose

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  • Hazel August 24, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Like all other greenway improvements, the first thing I noticed was the increase in car traffic through a lot of these streets. Already seeing a lot of cars now using 28th south of Powell.

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    • J_R August 24, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      That conflicts with my observations. I’m seeing lots less auto traffic on 28th between Powell and Holgate. I’ve only seen two motor vehicles ignore the northbound “do not enter” at Holgate. (I took a photo of one.) Left turns from Powell to 28th used to be a pretty common route for motorists who saw a backup of the left turn lane at 26th, but that’s no longer an option because of the barrier. I guess we’ll just have to wait for actual counts.

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  • 9watts August 24, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    To those complaining about the complaining –
    What if we had approached this a different way?
    What if PBOT invited our participation, input from people intimately familiar with the terrain, the challenges and rewards of bicycling, and we jointly cooked up a draft 20s bikeway that wasn’t (in the first iteration) weighed down with compromises. With that as the goal, we then jointly embarked on a process where we interrogated each dissenter (automobility, parking worship, Car-head, etc.) in turn, and—and this is crucial—we were armed with the 2030 Plan and a checklist against which to weigh the dissent. It is not clear to me that with a more inclusive process and some teeth to the 2030 bike master plan we couldn’t have avoided much of this heartache/missed opportunity/disappointment.

    Others have no doubt thought about this in more detail, and perhaps we have some semblance of this already?

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    • Adam
      Adam August 24, 2017 at 1:53 pm

      Agreed. The problem here is PBOT’s paternalistic attitude towards cycling. They would rather tell people what they want than actually listen to people’s input. Actually, this describes pretty much every process in Portland.

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  • plm August 24, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Wow. Any other westside commuters who traverse the hill see these complaints and feel their eyes roll so hard they practically fall out of your head? If you tire of the tepid “inadequate”, I invite you over here for a steaming pile of “non-exsistant”.

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    • Adam
      Adam August 24, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      Exactly the reason why I never ride in SW. So happy that the MAX tunnel exists. 🙂

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    • emerson August 24, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      I go up over Washington Park. Which way do you go?

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      • plm August 24, 2017 at 3:50 pm

        Patton-Vista/Montgomery is most direct for me. I’ve been cycling in this town, the west side in particular, for a long time, so I’m fairly used to the feeling of side mirrors passing 6 inches from your elbows. I think all who ride over here would agree; it could be a lot better.

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        • emerson August 24, 2017 at 11:45 pm

          Agreed. In general I’m OK riding in traffic, but I wouldn’t want to ride that route unless it’s the weekend. I don’t like the curves when I’m sure someone is checking FB behind me on their way into work.

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  • emerson August 24, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    My preferred route SE/NE will still be 16th to Salmon. This route seems indirect (although I do like the HAWK at 26th and Broadway when I got to Freddie’s.)

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  • bikeninja August 24, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Yes, it is easy to complain about the 20’s Bikeway, and i to wish it was better and included a route down 28th, but having spent the weekend trying to find safe routes for my wife and I to ride our tandem in Beaverton ( she is a novice) the new crossings on 28th and Hoyt and 30th and Burnside are like heaven in comparison. We need to keep the pressure up on PBOT to do better, but lets celebrate what we have and double down to do better.

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  • Jim Lee August 24, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Who at PBOT is responsible for this?

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    • Terry D-M August 24, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      Totally a missed opportunity as we are supposed to be lon the same side. I will make a point to invite PBOT to our neighborhood tour of the SE Uplift portion of the 20s I am leading to get public input.

      Hopefully PBOT will show up.

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  • Kittens August 24, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    This is like a museum of bad infrastructure design. Great job PBoT, mission accomplished!

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  • joan August 24, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Alex Reedin
    Variations on Todd Hudson’s theme – all about as good advice:
    Hey sweetheart, you’d be so much more fetching if you just smiled more.
    God never gives you more than you can handle.
    If you compare yourself to a starving orphan in a third-world country, you’ll always be happy!
    You know that you just fulfill the stereotype of the angry bicyclist/feminist/black person/lesbian right?
    Recommended 3

    So I’m guessing this is supposed to be ironic sexism, racism, and homophobia, but it’s really awful and not okay, because it’s sexist, racist, and homophobic.

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    • Alex Reedin August 24, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      These were intended to be examples of horrible things people say when trying to get people who are hurt by the status quo to shut up. I’m sorry it didn’t come off that way!

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  • Toadslick August 24, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Since i’m also guilty of piling on the negativity, I’d like to add a second comment.

    The great parts about this bikeway are the safer crossing of Burnside and especially Powell. I’ve love to have regular, safer crossings of Powell all down the east side. And most of the time I feel much safer biking in Portland than I do anywhere else in the United States.

    But I’ve had more than one bike-riding friend that, because they weren’t expecting a particular zigzag on a greenway, diverged from the greenway and had a terrifying interaction as a result. It’s hard to think about their experiences without getting frustrated, when our newest greenway continues the same confusing anti-patterns despite years of feedback from the people that depend on these routes.

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  • Terry D-M August 24, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Should I dare to look into the Oregonian comments section in the morning? I have some good quotes in here. I also had a good conversation from a high ranking PBOT burocrat that went very well.


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    • B. Carfree August 26, 2017 at 7:24 pm

      I know better, but I just couldn’t resist dipping into the comments. Now I need to go shower off. I really need to remember to not do that again.

      What you said was powerful, though. Nicely worded.

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  • Christopher of Portland August 24, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    I’ve rode most of the route a few times. Plain crosswalks across busy streets with bad visibility like Belmont and Prescott aren’t enough on routes intended for the 8-80 crowd, or whoever this stuff is marketed as being for. I’ve seen a few people go through the honor system diverter on Holgate. I like some of the new crossing signals. More navigational signs are great but I got lost a couple times, near Sandy and near Concordia University. I think trees or parked box vans were blocking the signs. Better sharrows would probably help.

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  • Ted Buehler August 24, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    re: the 20s Bikeway.

    It was designed 4 years ago, when PBOT’s Bike Program had very little support from the inside, and was constantly ripped on by The Oregonian and other mainstream media outlets.

    It was the best design that staff could get approval for at the time.

    Overlooked in a lot of the legitimate complaints is a lot of legitimate praise. PBOT took away parking in quite a few places. They tried pretty hard with the 28th Ave businesses, but had no political cover to do anything more. The route functions pretty well in a lot of places.

    While I agree that some places are quite dangerous, and should be revisited (no green phase on the HAWK signals crossing Broadway, dangerous 2 way cycletrack on I-84, poor choise of routing on the “right then cross” entrance to the NB cycletrack by the Irish Pub, narrow slits in the speed humps in the 28th Ave biz district, poorly placed sharrows throughout the system) that the project itself is a general improvement. And the poor compromises are a reflection of its times.

    Looking forward, we can do better. Since then, PBOT has gained a lot of its political clout back, PBOT is putting in diverters on Lincoln, they’ve put in diverters on Ankeny and Clinton, and I hope that the new Neighborhood Greenways moving forward will be safer, more direct, and be a positive reflection of the political times we are in now.

    Want to see future greenways get better? Send elected officials positive support, say “please resume construction of Neighborhood Greenways — build the 2030 Bike Plan, improve existing greenways.”

    If they hear from us, we’ll get more from them.

    Ted Buehler

    And, I certainly hope that I won’t need to eat my words if someone is badly injured on the poorly designed elements of this facility…

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    • Alex Reedin August 24, 2017 at 7:45 pm

      Thank you for your long view, wisdom, and compassion, Ted. It’s greatly appreciated.

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  • GlowBoy August 24, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    I rode the whole length of the greenway tonight, all the way from the Springwater up to Lombard. Honestly, until I got past Division it seemed great. Seemed like a good design all the way through Eastmoreland and Creston, awesome new crossing of Powell (at a potential price, I know), and the extra climbing up over Woodward on 28th wasn’t much.

    But in the core section from Hawthorne to Broadway, oh what a mess. Some of the treatments were innovative, but the overall impression was of overwhelming inconsistency. There are SO MANY different treatments and types of crossings that it’s just too much. I expect this kind of variation from a city that’s new to bike-friendliness and trying out everything to see what works, not from a bike-mature city like Portland.

    The absolute worst aspect, though, is most of the green zebra-striped “crossbikes.” There are a number of crossings where the bikeway has a STOP sign at a major street, and the adjacent crosswalk is zebra-striped. SOME of these crossings have green “crossbikes” next to the crosswalk, and some don’t. I have no idea why the inconsistency.

    But what I do know is this: if the bikeway has a STOP sign and the major street doesn’t, bikes don’t have the right of way in these crossings. Until these “crossbikes” started popping up, the purpose of green paint or thermoplastic had always been to indicate high-conflict areas where bikes have the right of way and motorists need to yield to them.

    Now they’re being installed in places where bikes don’t have the right of way, and that’s a problem for two reasons: 1) it creates confusion among motorists about what the rules are, and 2) more importantly, it creates the false impression among cyclists that they have the right of way.

    Before long someone IS going to get hit in one of these crossbikes. I hope it isn’t fatal. I certainly hope that it doesn’t happen to anyone reading this, but if it does, I beg you: PLEASE make sure your lawyer adds PBOT as a defendant to your lawsuit, so they are forced to remove these dangerous green crossbikes. These are NOT an okay traffic control device, and they need to be removed.

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  • GlowBoy August 24, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    My other big problem with the route is where 28th crosses Sandy and I-84. Northbound cyclists are supposed to cross bi-directional traffic on this busy street while looking 180 degrees over our shoulder? No thanks. There’s room for protected bike lanes on BOTH sides of the bridge over I-84? Why not just have northbound cyclists cross over to Clackamas (instead of Wasco), where there’s less traffic? Because six parking spots on Wasco would have to go? Is this yet another situation where this route has been compromised to save a couple of parking spaces?

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    • Adam
      Adam August 25, 2017 at 9:46 am

      Totally agree on this one. While I will incessantly chant for protected bike lanes, the design over I-84 is just plain dangerous. That northbound crossover is going to get someone seriously injured or killed. Forcing cyclists to make a left turn like that without protection or even a signal is negligent on PBOT’s part. They expect riders to use the bike box and cross-bike, but since it’s so far from the intersection and partly downhill, I doubt anyone will actually use it. I know I didn’t.

      Most of the 20’s Bikeway design amounts to inconvenience and annoyance, but this section is the only one that feels outright dangerous. Hopefully PBOT will fix it soon by adding a protected lane on the other side of the street.

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  • GlowBoy August 24, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    OK, while I’m at it, one more issue: the choice of 28th through much of the “central” zone. 28th is only 25 feet wide through much of this stretch, and has parked cars on both sides for much of its length. That only leaves about 11 feet for cars and bikes to meet (or – yikes! – pass) each other. There’s not a lot of traffic on 28th, but there’s enough to make for some tense moments.

    I will say I had no major issues with cars (or their drivers!) on this route, EXCEPT for the guy in a delivery truck who thought he could go straight across Stark, crossing my path, when I had the signal to go north. Fortunately he yielded to me, but it was yet another confusing moment. Only after getting across and looking back to figure out what happened did I realize he was only allowed to turn right. Maybe he didn’t realize that at the time either.

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    • GlowBoy August 24, 2017 at 8:10 pm

      Oops, guess I meant 29th/30th, at least from Hawthorne up to Burnside.

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      • GlowBoy August 24, 2017 at 8:15 pm

        OK, OK, one more thing: The fact that I didn’t know whether I was on 28th, 29th or 30th (actually, it was all three of them over the space of a mile or so) is part of the problem with this route. Time to drag out our favorite “Short History of Traffic Engineering” graphic again: https://www.flickr.com/photos/16nine/8415594735/

        In fairness, at least the 20s bikeway looks like the bus route in the “1950-present” quadrant, not like the bike route.

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    • soren August 29, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      The original plan was to use 28th (at least for one direction) but the city and PBOT caved into the regressive fears of few businesses that opposed bike infrastructure on a vibrant commercial street (Laurelhurst Theater, Holmans, and Staccato Gelato).

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  • Dave Hogan August 24, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    I hope when they deal with SE 28th and Steele they do something about the parking lanes that some people use as right turn lanes. I’ve seen a few collisions between cars and cars, and cars and cyclists, because someone decides to drive in the parking lane to make a right hand turn.

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  • Andrew August 25, 2017 at 9:30 am

    The Stark crossing is majorly flawed as there are no physical dividers that force auto users heading south to make the right-only turn. A month back, I was going south on the route with my 13 month daughter on her bike seat behind me. We waited at the light next to the car, and when the light turned green, the car sped straight across instead of taking the right only turn. If we had been less attentive and had started fast, they would’ve hit us. Poorly designed and confusing. I’m disappointed in much of this bikeway.

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    • N August 25, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      I live right by here and I hate hate hate this intersection now. I’ve seen both north- and south-bound auto traffic fail to obey the mandatory turns. I’m also trying to go in precisely the opposite direction that this bikeway wants me to go (South on 30th to make a left on Yamhill, or north on 30th from Yamhill to a right on Stark) so I wind up diving in and out of the two-way protected nonsense for the single block that it exists on my route.

      Andrew – it sounds like either you or the car was operating on a red light – there’s a separate bike signal from the car signal, which helps keep this from being an automatic-hook situation.

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      • N August 28, 2017 at 5:54 pm

        Going through this intersection yesterday (northbound on 30th), with three cyclists on each side of the intersection. I’ll set the scene:

        Me, my girlfriend, and a nice chap who’d never seen this intersection before, all in the right-hand side of the green paint marked bikeway on 30th, facing North. Three cyclists on the other side, facing south, they’ve sprawled out into both halves of the green lane. Behind them, a car rolls down the hill, briefly puts on e-flashers, and then puts on her left turn signal and pulls in behind the bikes, as though this is a one-way street and the green bike area is a left-turn lane.

        Reminder, for anyone who doesn’t want to scroll up and find the pictures: this is a mandatory right turn for drivers and the area she’s in is covered in green paint and bike markings.

        Our light turns green. The cyclists all edge out into the road, with the Southbound ones giving over so Northbound can get by. We’re faced with not just the cyclists but the car, who’s blocking most of our marked lane. I put up my hand to the driver in a “stop” signal, which she repeats back to me while continuing to roll down the hill behind the Southbound cyclists. I pass her in the gutter and bend down to call “Red light!” though her closed window. As I ride up the hill, I look back and see her turn the corner, against the paint, signage, and on a red light (only the bike signal is green).

        Someone is going to die here. It won’t be me, because I’m never riding through this intersection again.

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  • Adam
    Adam August 28, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    I rode part of the route last night and missed a turn and got lost.

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  • Thomas August 29, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Agree with comments on the two-way bike lane on 30th between Alder and Stark. It needs major revisions.

    Like many, I am trying to ride north/south to/from Ankeny. Originally I thought “hey great there will be a signal at 30th and Stark” but since implementation I have found myself crossing at 29th and Stark because while unsignalized, at least everyone knows what’s happening.

    The blind turn at 30th and Stark is really disconcerting with poor sight triangles. Ditch the two-way bike lane and use a modified Toucan or other signal control device at this intersection.

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  • Peter Hass August 31, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    I’ve tried this new 20’s route between Powell and I-84 area and was disappointed. (The whole thing sort of reminds me of the poorly designed bike lane between SW Stark and Burnside on 2nd.) I find using my old familiar routes of SE 16th or SE 34th to be easier. Sometimes I’ll take 20th and 21st…it’s way more direct but there’s a lot more car traffic to deal with. It’s too bad PBOT couldn’t have taken out the free parking on 20/21 and replaced it with bike lanes.

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